An “Un-Bear-able” Edition

In Animals, Beauty, Funny, Social Commentary on August 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Dear Ally,

Which bear is best?

Joanna, Botswana

* * *

My Dearest Joanna,

Which bear? Well, bear in mind that there are many different kind of bears. Grizzly bears, Polar bears, Black bears, Blue bears, Yellow bears, Purple bears, Koala bears, Panda bears, Kodiak bears, Gobi bears, Atlas bears, Sun bears, Moon bears, Sloth bears, Cave bears, House bears, Spectacle bears, Hat bears, Shoe bears, etc, etc, etc…

I may have made some of those up (surprisingly, Spectacle bears wasn’t one of them), but I can assure you that there are several different bears to take into consideration; I can barely begin to evaluate the qualities of each bear, but if I were to look particularly at the bare necessities, I think I could easily narrow it down to the following breeds of bear: Polar, Grizzly, Panda, Black, and Moon. Sorry, Kodiak – I made up Moon bears.

Now, when I think of bears, I am immediately reminded of beauty queens. Wait, sorry, that’s wrong. When I think of beauty queens, I am immediately reminded of bears, and of how much I would enjoy watching a bear set loose in a beauty pageant. But whatever the mental process, the fact remains that the two are inextricably linked in my mind, and so I think it only appropriate that we judge the best bear by beauty queen qualities: poise, grace, compassion, hair width, leg length, breast size, heel height, and the capacity for abstract thought. Sorry, no. Scratch that last. It should read: “who looks the best in a skimpy bathing suit”.

(Although it could be pointed out that, judged based on the capacity for abstract thought, bears and beauty queens would probably find themselves on equal footing. Well, maybe that’s being unfair to the bears)

ANYWAY, it is time to launch my all time favourite beauty pageant:

** Miss Bear-ly A Beauty! **

WOW! COOL! HOT SAUCE! Let’s meet our lovely contestants:

The Lovely Black Bear, from North and South America….
The Stunning Black Bear Candidate

The Stunning Black Bear Candidate

The Black Bear certainly displays its aggressive side with poise, as exhibit A clearly demonstrates, while she is equally playful and charming as she demonstrates her talent, tree-climbing (B). Her charisma and compassion (C), however, seems sadly lacking: it may look like she is chumming with this professorial-type man, but in fact she is his hunting trophy. That definitely indicates a lack of the kind of social skills that we’re looking for in our Miss Bear-ly a Beauty winner, so she could be docked some points for that. She is definitely rocking that swimsuit shot in exhibit D, and that naturally goes a long way, but she looks a bit stiff and uncomfortable in her formal outfit (E). We will just have to see what the judge thinks…
The Divine Kodiak Bear, from Alaska…

The Smokin' Kodiak Bear Candidate

The Smokin' Kodiak Bear Candidate

Our Kodiak candidate seems to be struggling a bit with not only a formal pose that just looks awkward at best and a display of ferocity in exhibit B that, while impressive, definitely lacks the grace of some of our other contestants. There’s no doubt that exhibit C is adorable – the judge loves that fresh and sexy “bear in the snow” look – but his swimsuit shot (D) is really just a mess. He’s an unlikely candidate for the congeniality prize, as well, having apparently eaten a man’s face (E). Not the kind of compassion and charm that we’re looking for in this competition, I’m afraid. It’s not looking good for the Kodiak Bear candidate, but it’s up to the judge to decide!

The Gorgeous Grizzly Bear, from the uplands of Western North America…
The Groovy Grizzly Bear Candidate

The Groovy Grizzly Bear Candidate

Oh my goodness I don’t think I’ve ever seen the likes of the Grizzly Bear contestant, and I don’t mean that as flattery! Starting right off with his display of charisma in exhibit A, he is going to lose a lot of points right off the bat for having killed a man – and a giant one at that! His unfortunate pose of intimidation (B) is simply lackluster – it rather looks as if he’s about to be sick – while exhibit C is neither charming nor playful. In fact, I think he’s just gone to sleep! I wish I could say that he could recover some ground with his swimsuit entry (D), but calling it hideous would be a kind approach. He does pull off a fantastic formal pose – really emitting an aura of power and confidence there in exhibit E – but will it be enough to make up for his other shortcomings?
The Luminescent Polar Bear, from the Arctic Circle…
The Cheeky Polar Bear Candidate

The Cheeky Polar Bear Candidate

Oh our Polar Bear contestant seems to be trying something different, something a little more risqué. Instead of going for aggression in exhibit A, like the others have done, he’s trying to gain some points with the judge by showing that bears can be sexy and scary. Will it pay off? His formal pose in exhibit B shows a remarkable sense of poise and balance, which is one of the things the judge will be looking for, and certainly befriending a child and standing up to former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin (C) demonstrates a wonderful sense of compassion and intelligence. It is also just the kind of approach that could win over the judge. He really hits the nail on the head with a charming and playful pose in exhibit D, and his swimsuit entry (E) is very classy. The Polar Bear candidate is looking like a strong contender in this competition at the moment!

…and, last but not least…

The Captivating Panda Bear, from Central-Western and South-Western China!

The Cute-as-hell Panda Bear Candidate

The Cute-as-hell Panda Bear Candidate

The Panda Bear contestant is really playing to her strengths. Clearly she’s accepted the fact that she will never be able to pull of the raw power and intimidation of the Black, Kodiak, and Grizzly Bears, or the sultry manner of the Polar Bear, so she’s working with what she does have: her decision to play the flute in exhibit A, for example, could show the judge that she is a sensitive and talented bear, something that the contestants have been reluctant to emphasise in this year’s competition. Exhibit B sympathises with the current upward trend in vegetarianism, and while it isn’t overtly playful, there’s no doubting its charm. There’s a definite mischievous gleam in her eye that the judge isn’t likely to miss. And it has got to be said that her swimsuit shot is, for lack of a better word, perfection (C). Her formal shot (D) isn’t quite on the same level – it could be read as sleepy. Will it hinder or help her when it comes to judging? Oh, and she has truly captured the essence of the kind of friendly attitude that the judge is looking for in exhibit E. It is looking very good indeed for this lovely Panda contestant!

Oh, they all look like winners to me (well, except the Grizzly. He was crap). But unfortunately, there can be only one Miss Bear-ly a Beauty! The judge has cast her votes, and the objective counter has tallied them. The time has come to announce the winner of the Miss Bear-ly a Beauty Contest!

First off, the second runner up and the winner of the Miss Congeniality ribbon, is…

The Polar Bear Contestant!!
Congratulations to the Polar Bear!

Congratulations to the Polar Bear!

The runner up – winner of a cooler full of hotdogs and marshmallows, three guaranteed unmanned RV’s, and a lifetime supply of human limbs – is…

The Kodiak Bear Contestant!!
In a complete surprise the Kodiak contestant takes second place!

In a complete surprise the Kodiak contestant takes second place!

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for…the WINNER of the Miss Bear-ly a Beauty Contest… is…
The Panda Bear Contestant!!!

Hurrah and congratulations to the one and only Miss Bear-ly a Beauty 2009!

Hurrah and congratulations to the one and only Miss Bear-ly a Beauty 2009!

Ahh, wasn’t that fun? And useful, as I am now able to answer your question with the utmost certainty, Joanna. Which bear is best? THE PANDA BEAR. It’s done. It’s over. We’re all ridiculously over-enlightened about bears now. Fantastic.

… God I hate bears.
the uplands of western North America
  1. THE ANSWER is: The black bear is best.

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